Janet's Notebook
Let's Get Ready to Party!

Chocolate Squares

We're only about a week away from the new year. If your year was anything like mine, 2013 flew by in the blink of an eye. This holiday season, I've been pretty busy. So, for New Years Eve, I'm staying in and having some friends over. We'll watch the ball drop on TV, have a few drinks and of course eat some great food.

Bite-size treats rule my menu this New Year's Eve. If I'm having smaller bites of everything then I can have more. Right?

Deb Crane's Mushroom Pate for Tarts is superb for a New Year's Eve celebration. "These tarts can be frozen and ready in minutes," says Deb. Which is ideal when trying to get ready for a party.

Terese Galgano's Gougeres with Chives (Cheese Puffs) sound really fancy don't they! But, according to Terese "These are easy to make and melt in your mouth." And she's right. We made these with Gruyere cheese. Don't like Gruyere? Try another hard cheese you prefer. The Gougeres are savory and satisfying.

A little decadence is allowed on New Year's Eve. And Theresa Airth's Chocolate Squares are a perfect chocolate treat. You'll love the amazing cream topping on these. Be sure to have enough on hand ... people will be sneaking these all night.

V Seward had me at bacon with her Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese. "Pop [these] in the oven while your guests are arriving and they'll know they came to the right party," says V of these bite-sized goodies. Really, what's not to love here?!

The sauce on Mary Ann Hanson's Slow Baked Chicken Wings won me over. These are great for the men who aren't necessarily into the other finger foods. Mary Ann shares that "[her] family has eaten these right out of the pan right from the oven because they are so good." The slow baking makes the meat fall of the bone. Make sure to have a few extra napkins handy.

Sallye Bates Drunken Nuts are the perfect snack to have out on tables. Guests won't be able to stop grabbing handfuls of these delicious nuts. The addition of whiskey gives 'em a nice kick for New Year's Eve.

No New Year's celebration is complete without a few cocktails (at least to me). Cathy Smith's Fire Vodka warmed me right up when I tried it. It's perfect on a cool night ... and would be delicious to have on hand at a party.

I'm also fond of Tara Pacheco's Cupcake Martini. As Tara says, "our adult dessert." It's very festive and a nice way to start the new year.

Whether having a nice quiet evening with family or celebrating with a big group of friends, ring in the new year with some of your favorite recipes.

More Stories... Subscribe to RSS

Melanie B - Dec 28, 2013
Which recipe did you use? I have used one several times with medium rare results every time- more to the rare side.
Fran Finco - Dec 28, 2013
I would like to comment on justapinch's recipe for done right any time prime rib.

I followed the recipe to a T" pre-seasoned the recipe the nigh before, made sure the roast was at room temperature, pre-heated the oven at 550 degrees - put roast in for 5 min per pound for rare + 75 minutes, shut off roast, shut of oven, let roast sit in oven for two hours - no oven door opening. At the end of two hours, I had a 157 degree well done, $140 WELL DONE roast. What a disappointment ! I was a rock start to the only person in the room who thought all beef should be well done. No pone else. Help me understand what wen wrong?